Smoked Jalapeno Popper, Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Smoked Jalapeno Popper, Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf!!! OH YES I DID! I took a classic and kicked it up like a million notches. I usually cook all day on Sundays. But on this day, I didn’t want to go my usual route; I knew I wanted to use my smoker, but I wanted something different, something I have never done before. So I came up with this recipe. Meatloaf! I will wrap it in bacon. But what can I stuff it with? I know… I’ll stuff it with jalapeño poppers! (You should’ve heard the conversation I was having with myself; hilarious). If you do not have a smoker, then you can absolutely make this in the oven as an alternative.  And remember, this ain’t yo mamas meatloaf, but it’s darn good!

-Tammy

Health tips:  cheat meal

Ingredients: 4 servings (but you can make 2 meatloaves to serve 8, if you double the ingredients)

  • 1 lb. of 80/20 ground beef (or 85/15)
  • ½ lb. bacon (or 1 lb. because you know you will snack on the rest)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ c. onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. oats
  • ¼ c. roasted red bell peppers, chopped (I used from a jar this time around because I had some on hand)
  • 3 TBS of your favorite BBQ sauce (I love Guy Fieri’s; it’s my favorite bottled sauce, but my own recipe will be coming soon)

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  • 4 jalapeños, ends cut of, halved and deseeded (scrap the seeds out)
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • ¼ c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pieces of the bacon, crumbled (or 2 TBS of bacon bits)
  • Your favorite BBQ rub (I like to make my own, but I was out, and I always have some on hand)

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  • Wood chips (I used pecan)

Steps:

  1. Soak your woodchips and preheat the smoker to 200-225 degrees (alternatively, you can preheat your oven to 350 degrees).
  2. Now you don’t want the jalapeños to be crunchy, so you have to boil/blanch them for 8 minutes. Prepare them, by cutting the ends off, cut them in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds and ribs (Please try not to touch the inside, OR just wear gloves. Trust me, your eyes will thank you for it…yes, I learned the hard way). Then set them into a small pot of boiling water for 10 minutes and drain on a paper towel.

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  1. Meanwhile, make the filling for the jalapeños: Mix cream cheese, shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce , bacon bits in a bowl; set aside.

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  1. To make meatloaf mixture: Put beef in a bowl and grate the onion right over the bowl so the juice falls into the beef (or just add your finely chopped onions to the bowl). Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, roasted red bell peppers, egg, oats, BBQ sauce and mix with hands until just incorporated.

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  1. To make the bacon weave, follow my photos or watch this video on YouTube  (**please see notes below). Lay bacon weave on the counter (I just laid mine on the butcher paper from the ground beef).
  1. Fill the jalapeno halves with the cream cheese mixture; set aside.
  2. Take half of the meatloaf mixture and mold it into a flat tube-like shape, then lay it right in front of the bacon weave so the ends line up, making small indention’s where you will add the jalapeños.

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  1. Add jalapeños. Then add the other half of the meatloaf mixture on top. Shape/mold the meatloaf so that it’s sealed the jalapeños in. Then wrap the bacon around it.
  1. Sprinkle bacon with your favorite rub seasoning.

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  1. Place in your smoker for about 2 hours or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Replacing wood chips as needed. During the last 30 minutes, brush on your favorite BBQ sauce on the bacon.

Alternatively, you can place meatloaf in the preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. During the last 30 minutes, brush on your favorite BBQ sauce on the bacon. If you want an added extra smoky flavor, please feel free to add 1-2 tsp of smoked paprika or liquid smoke to the ground beef meatloaf mixture!

**The video shows how to weave bacon for a BLT sandwich. Apply the same method, but do not cut the bacon in half, keep it long and only cut the pieces to match the width of the 3 pieces of bacon. I’m a visual learner, so follow my photos or watch the video if you are too! 🙂

NOTES: There will be leftover bacon, jalapenos, and cream cheese mixture….hmmm…what to do with it? I know….make some smoked, bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers! I’ve never had smoked ones until I made this…I cannot tell you the level of deliciousness it brings! The bacon is cooked perfectly…super yum!

MORE NOTES: I think you should make a double batch…make 2 meatloaves…trust me, you’ll want leftovers! I’m so sorry I didn’t! *wink

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